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210 Views 4 Replies Last post: Oct 13, 2017 12:26 PM by f8419e5f47f6ffcc41aecc7f26948af69ff22e99 RSS
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Oct 4, 2017 11:33 AM

Unusual plant specimen in old dunes

Please could someone help identify this plant, perhaps a Euphrasia, (or Glechoma) of which only one specimen found in the Kennemerduinen, Haarlem, Holland. The flowers are fully white with a yellow eye. It is in a sheltered situation under buckthorn in full light facing west. The substrate is old established dune therefore acid. It is an area frequented by thousands of migrant birds both ways each year, including waterfowl. The photographs were made in driving rain, for which apologies.

I am unable to find it in any flora for the Netherlands or on internet ID sites for either species.

Michael

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  • Hello Michael,

     

    Welcome to NaturePlus.

     

    I have been puzzling over this for a couple of days. I thought it looked familiar but couldn't think what it was, and my books were no help.

     

    This evening I have remembered, it's definitely a plant out of place which is why I didn't get it quicker, I think. It's Bacopa, a summer hanging basket/container plant. The Latin name is Sutera cordata, though I think it may now be called Chaenostoma cordatum.

     

    I know it as a tender perennial, but perhaps it can survive the winter in the right location, don't know whether that would include dunes though!

     

    Is the location near any plant nurseries? That may be the source, rather than a garden escape.

     

    Regards Lucy

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      • There is a plant called Water Hyssop, Bacopa monnieri, which is to some extent edible and apparently used in herbal medicine. It has different shape leaves to this type of Bacopa, which is not edible. You could be right in supposing that it arrived with the help of a bird.

         

        I see the leaves have a red tinge to them which could be the time of the year (I've only seen it in spring and summer) or probably more likely it's a sign of low nutrient levels in the soil, not surprising given that it's an old dune system. This would also explain the small size of the plant, I would expect it to be at least twice the diameter after one year, never mind 2 or more.

         

        It is considered half-hardy rather than tender, my mistake, so it could certainly survive the winter in a sheltered position.

         

        Lucy

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